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Leadership Symposium
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November 14-15, 2018

TACVB is excited to announce 2018 Leadership Symposium!


The 2018 Leadership Symposium is a short, hyper-focused event designed to deliver current, relevant, experiential knowledge and skills to DMO upper management, Finance, and HR professionals. The Leadership Symposium will feature a hands-on skills lab on day 1, and a general session, several breakout sessions, and a tabletop vendor expo on day 2.


By attending this event you are eligible for 1 CDME recertification point from Destinations International and 17 Texas Destination Marketer (TDM) credits from TACVB.


Host Information

Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront
2055 Summer Lee Dr., Rockwall, TX 75032
To reserve your room at the group rate of $125, follow this link or call 1-866-235-1108 and use the group code: TACVB.

Cutoff date has been extended to November 2, 2018.


Leadership Symposium (TACVB member) = $275
Leadership Symposium (non-member) = $325


To register for the Leadership Symposium, click here.


Sustaining Partners:



presented by:



Contributing Sponsors:



sponsored by:





WEDNESDAY, november 14

NOON - 5:30 PM:: REGISTRATION (Pre-function West)
1:00 - 3:00 PM:: LeadershIp SKILLS LAB (Bella harbor ballroom, a-c)

Executive Presence presented by Libby Spears (Bravo Consulting)

For many professionals, developing their Executive Presence is a matter of professional survival. In a marketplace that is overflowing with people, teams, and organizations who are making a similar offer—learning to stand out is critical to success. The term executive presence simply means that you stand out, for the right reasons. You possess qualities that others are lacking, and these qualities, though hard to name or even define, are all too real as people size us up. For me, executive presence goes like this: “Would I trust you to take our most important client to dinner and represent our organization with confidence, courage, and  credibility?” If the answer is no, then it is time to get to work on building skill sets that change the answer to yes.


    • The three elements of EP: Confidence, Courage, and Credibility and how to build skills sets around all three.
    • How leaders define executive presence.
    • How to apply what the research says on EP with real time activities that challenge you to think deeply about the topic and learn in real time.
    • What to do when you LEAVE the session to keep working on your EP.
3:00 - 3:30 PM:: REFRESHMENT BREAK (pre-function west)
3:30 - 5:00 PM:: VENDOR TABLETOP EXPO SETUP (Compass rose)
3:30 - 5:00 PM:: leadership SKILLS LAB CONTINUED (bella harbor ballroom, a-c)

Executive Presence (continued) presented by Libby Spears (Bravo Consulting)

5:30 - 7:00 PM:: CEO Reception (sponsored by visit rockwall) (the pergola)
7:00 PM - MIDNIGHT:: dinner on your own and NETWORKING FREE TIME

THURSDAY, november 15

8:00 - 9:00 AM:: REGISTRATION (pre-function west)
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM:: GRAB & GO BREAKFAST (pre-function west)
9:00 - 10:00 AM:: GENERAL SESSION (bella harbor ballroom, a-c)

Developing a Message That Resonates presented by Bill Geist (DMO Proz)

How to explain the importance of Destination Marketing and the Visitor Economy to Non-Believers: We can recite the numbers and case studies all we want. If people refuse to believe that the Visitor Economy is real, they will continue to ignore the power of Tourism to enhance the economy and quality of life of our communities. Destination Marketing author Bill Geist will share examples from around the country of how crafting an unexpected message and using unconventional tactics can often result in communicating the importance of the Visitor Economy in ways that non-believers simply cannot refute.

10:00 - 10:30 AM::  REFRESHMENT BREAK & VENDOR TABLETOP EXPO (pre-function west & compass rose)
10:30 AM - NOON:: BREAKOUT SESSION 1 (bella harbor ballroom, a-c)

Retain, Recruit, Recognize: The Secret to The Container Store's Cultural Success presented by Rachel Kennedy (The Container Store)

Regardless of industry, every organization needs to keep people at the core of its business. The Container Store discovered that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers. The Container Store has remained on the Fortune Best Companies to Work For list for 19 years in a row for a reason!  In this interactive session, you will hear best practices from a recognized leader in company culture on recruiting, recognizing and retaining employees that are the heart of the business.

10:30 AM - NOON:: BREAKOUT SESSION 2 (windjammer)

The Power of Belonging: The Increasing Importance of Advocacy for Every DMO presented by Maura Gast (Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau)

The DMO without an advocacy plan is likely the DMO with a very short future and a very short leash to make things happen in its community.  In this session, with the framework of the mid-term elections and some of her own “Adventures in Irving,” Maura Gast will delve into the idea of the “power of belonging” as fundamental to understanding why and how to approach this survival- and mission-critical topic in our organizations. Whether we call it engagement or advocacy, lobbying or community relations, alignment or Kumbaya, it is the idea and power of “belonging” that can shift an advocacy plan from concept to completion.

NOON - 1:00 PM:: GROUP LUNCHEON (bella harbor ballroom, a-c)
1:00 - 1:30 PM:: break & VENDOR TABLETOP EXPO (pre-function west & compass rose)
1:30 - 3:00 PM:: BREAKOUT SESSION 1 (bella harbor ballroom, a-c)

Destination Marketing 3.0 presented by Bill Geist (DMO Proz)

Destination Marketing thought leader Bill Geist looks at our world like software releases. Destination Marketing 1.0 was passive and receptive. 2.0 was outbound and purchased. And, Destination Marketing 3.0 is all about storytelling and relationship building. In this fast-paced session, you’ll learn about how to more successfully tell your destination’s story and provide niche consumers the intel they need to select your experiences over others.

1:30 - 3:00 PM:: BREAKOUT SESSION 2 (windjammer)

Coming Together So We Can Remain Strong presented by Ali Best (Destinations International)

The tourism industry is faced with an ever-changing landscape of political controversies, terrorism, the weaponization of travel (travel boycotts and bans), challenges in funding and natural disasters.

Leadership, collaboration and resources are key during these challenging times and CVBs need to be armed with resources and the ability to bring together community stakeholders to accomplish what no one can do alone. Community, advocacy, research and education are all critical tools for your toolbox. This session will be an interactive hour of learning the current trends and issues facing our industry as well as what Destinations International is doing to ensure we remain stronger together.

3:00 - 3:30 PM:: REFRESHMENT BREAK & VENDOR TABLETOP EXPO (bella harbor ballroom, a-c & compass rose)
3:30 - 5:00 PM:: BREAKOUT SESSION 1 (bella harbor ballroom, a-c)

Solutions for the Things that Keep You Up at Night: Human Resources, Finance and Your Board presented by Julie Hart (CFO by Design) and Karen Kennard (Greenberg Traurig Law)

Are you losing sleep as an association executive worrying about what you don’t know?  Human Resources, Finance and Board Governance can be BIG scary topics…but they don’t have to be.  This session will provide practical and useful tips to help you avoid common nightmares, such as:

  • Employee classifications
  • Hiring the right employees
  • Employee performance recourse and terminations
  • Performance reviews and documentation
  • Handling employee complaints
  • Embezzlement and theft
  • Phishing emails
  • Internal controls
  • Bylaws
  • Board policies/communication
  • Board roles and responsibilities
3:30 - 5:00 PM:: BREAKOUT SESSION 2 (windjammer)

Visit San Antonio: A Transformational Journey presented by Casandra Matej (Visit San Antonio)

San Antonio is an authentic and dynamic travel destination. Each year, more than 34 million visitors descend on the area, driving a $14 billion sector that ranks as one of the top three industries in the city. As the marketing arm for the City of San Antonio, Visit San Antonio oversees a tourism and hospitality landscape that is enjoying consistent growth. Yet, it has done so in recent years with a marketing budget that remained flat and lagging its competitors. Alongside stakeholders, Casandra Matej spearheaded a transition in 2016 from the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, a municipal department, to a public-private nonprofit, Visit San Antonio. It was a complicated and complex evolution for the organization, designed to allow  Visit San Antonio to become more nimble in its decision making process and pursue new revenue opportunities. 



Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus
PO Box 1256
Denton, TX  76202
Phone: 940-999-1002
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